Governments all over the world are desperately trying to mitigate the impact of lockdowns on business owners and individuals.
In the UK we’ve seen loans, grants, tax deferrals and more measures implemented by Rishi Sunak in an attempt to keep the economy going. But we think he’s missing some important areas.
Here are 7 ways we think the chancellor can give the economy a big boost.
Help live music
Something close to our heart admittedly as our partner Rob Jones was a drummer in a band during his youth… but this industry is about to die a horrible death.
It was recently noted that “The sector is facing the loss of 170,000 jobs” which is almost 70% of that sector’s workforce before Christmas.
That’s an awful lot of jobs disappearing.
In an ideal situation, we’d like to see live music back on again, but until then we should be seeing much more support for all the people in that industry sitting on their hands with no idea if and indeed when they’ll ever return to work.
Resist the urge to raise taxes
Mr Sunak needs to resist the urge to raise taxes. Tax hikes stifle economic growth and whilst it may be tempting for him to run the numbers and come up with something that looks good on paper, in reality, he’ll be creating a choke on growth and entrepreneurship. If he’s bold he’ll cut corporation tax and VAT to encourage spending and investment…
Give more support for small business owners
Small single director limited companies slipped through the net as far as support goes, the self-employed didn’t fare too much better. Sure there’s been some handouts to get them through lockdown but that only makes up for the loss of income during that period. Not the long term effects of the downturn.
Mr Sunak should fire a lot more money towards small businesses in the form of grants and let the entrepreneurs of this country decide how to deploy it best.
After all, each business owner is an expert in their own sector. They are better equipped than anyone else to know where money will bring the most benefit.
Now’s the time for Rishi to be bold, get building small infrastructure projects, push on with electric vehicle-charging networks, roads and rail. Ramping up investment in the economy now will pay dividends later.
Encourage the creation of jobs for small businesses
More needs to be done to encourage small companies to hire staff. No one wants to hire right now because times are so uncertain. As a business owner who wants to commit to an increased payroll when we don’t even know if people will be allowed out month to month?
Remove that fear and uncertainty, create irresistible cash incentives.
Incentivise UK jobs
Lockdown forced many people to work from home. Which has many advantages for a business and the employees… however, many business owners are now realising that, yes many jobs can be done remotely and perhaps they don’t need to be paying a UK salary for that task.
Perhaps a remote worker in another country that costs a third of the price could do the same job…
Rishi needs to get ahead of the game here and encourage businesses to hire UK staff now.
Get a grip on obesity and health
Gym memberships, personal trainers and many other beneficial services should be tax-deductible. We all know obesity contributes to worse Covid symptoms alongside all the other productivity challenges that come with poor health.
Let companies give employees a tax-free allowance for health-related services rather than it being taxable as earnings or as a benefit in kind.
Not only would this result in a healthier, more productive workforce, but it would also give gyms and the health industry a much-needed boost.
Do you agree? What would you do if you were the chancellor right now?